Canoe tours and trail walks on tap at Hirundo

Posted July 02, 2010, at 4:08 p.m.

ALTON — Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is offering free guided canoe tours and trail walks that will ex-plore the natural history of the streams and forests of this region. Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is a 2,402 acre nature preserve, located eight miles northwest of Old Town on Route 43.

The Refuge spans Pushaw and Dead Streams, and encompasses vast wetlands, including domed bog and maple and juniper swamps, and mixed hardwood and evergreen forests and a forest pond. Our natu-ralist Kate Croswell, who is a third year Wildlife Ecology major at the University of Maine, will lead the tours. Visit our developing website at www.hirundomaine.org for a trail map and directions to the Ref-uge.

The canoe tours will offer basic canoe instruction, and explore the plants and wildlife found in Pushaw Stream. This ecosystem provides agreat diversity of bird life and mammal behavior, and an en-vironment to learn about aquatic plant communities and conservation issues in tranquil beauty. Canoes, paddles and lifejackets are provided. Meet at parking lot Gate 3.

Guided canoe tours are scheduled to begin from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, and will take place on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Sundays (starting on July 18 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Addi-tional times may be reserved upon request. To make your reservation call Kate Croswell at (207) 692-7421, or Fred Bryant at (207) 827-2230.

Also beginning in July, the Refuge will offer guided trail walks on Wednesday at 6 p.m., Friday at 9 a.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. Other times for group tours are available on request. Our naturalist will lead you along some of Hirundo’s many wooded and stream-side trails, and share her knowledge of many top-ics including vernal pools, stream ecology, forest succession, nesting birds, and our native snakes (all non-poisonous!). Look for the sign along Rt. 43 directing you where to enter the Refuge for a walking tour.

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